Gibraltar’s Gibdock shipyard has completed a three-month conversion project to enable the Baleària operated ferry ‘Napoles’to operate using LNG as fuel.
The 186m long ‘Napoles’, which has capacity for 1,600 pax and 1,430 lane metres of ro-ro cargo, is the first of five ships that Baleària plans to convert to dual fuel operations to comply with IMO sulfur cap regulations.
Gibdock has already secured the contract to convert a second vessel, ‘Sicilia’, which is due to arrive at the yard later this year.
Richard Beards, Gibdock, managing director, said: ”Baleària is a longstanding client for scheduled repair and maintenance work, so it made perfect sense to carry out the conversion at Gibdock. We are delighted to have been entrusted with this landmark project, which was a first for us and for Baleària; the experience will ensure that the ‘Sicilia’ conversion goes even more smoothly.”
‘Napoles’ arrived at Gibdock on 15th November, 2018, with the yard already having pre-fabricated two LNG bunker fuel reception stations for later installation.
Much ofthe subsequent work took place alongside the yard’s main repair wharf, with some elements of the LNG conversion undertaken in Gibdock’s Panamax size Dock No.1.
The project required extensive modifications to Deck 1 to accommodate a 200 tonne, 27m x 6m diameter WärtsiläLNG fuel tank. Gibdock also cropped Decks 5 through to 2 to create anopening through which to lower the 400 cu m capacity tank.
Another key element was the modification of the MAN 9L 48/60-A main engines, which was undertaken by engineers from MAN Primeserv. Now designated 9L 51/60DFF, Gibdock assisted modifications made by the manufacturer with auxiliary pipework and steel structures in connection with reassembly, also fitting specialised valves, a compressor and generator unit.
Extensive automation system and cabling work was also carried out by Gibdock technicians.
After her departure, ‘Napoles’ began operating on a new passenger and Spanish freight route connecting Huelva and the Canary Islands.
“We already have substantial experience with ballast water treatment and scrubber retrofits, and now we have an LNG dual conversion under our belt,” said Beards. “Our range of solutions for forthcoming IMO regulatory changes is comprehensive in suiting any vessel type, age and route profile.”